As the rock dome closed over our heads, I realized that there was no way out for us. The dome sealed closed and all light vanished. As I stood in complete darkness, I wondered how it would end for us. Were we to be swallowed whole by this monster or mashed up by slowly moving rocks? Or squished flat by a falling ceiling? Were there creatures waiting to be released to tear us apart? Were we to be ripped into pieces? Or were we simply going to be left in here to suffocate?
It certainly didn’t seem to be that last one, as I saw something glowing rising out of the floor. We weren’t just going to be left in here, forgotten by whatever had trapped us. At least that meant our death wasn’t going to be slow, I thought until I started to worry about that glow. Was this rising construct radioactive? I’d rather die from suffocation than radiation sickness.
But that concern was superseded by a new one as the glowing object continued to rise and reveal itself. My new fear was if this thing was alive. And more importantly, if it was alive, did it want to kill us? Instinctively, I stepped in front of Wu. If this creature was dangerous, I would face it first. He was still unconscious so I would do my best to protect him. Maybe I could save him. It was possible. How long would it take him to recover? I didn’t know. But I would do my best to give him every second that I could. And if I fail, if I can’t save him, well, then I’ll have at least tried. What else choice did I have?
I was prepared to die if needs be. If that was what awaited me then so be it. I would face that possibility head on. I prepared to face this new monster when I realized there was something familiar in the way it glowed. That reddish light…it was almost…crimson.
Crimson? Was that…Na Fru? I looked closely, slowly moving forward just in care I was wrong. But I wasn’t! It was him! It was Na Fru! I ran toward him, excited that I might still survive this, excited that he was still alive. “You’re all right!”
He presented his arm which was immobilized against his body from his neck to his forearm by a rock encasing. “I am not all right. I have been…wounded. I will not let that stand. I will allow this charade to continue no longer. I am ready to end this. I have been injured and I seek vengeance. So tell me, Frank Clay, will you help me claim my vengeance?”
“Help you?” I almost left at how preposterous that sounded. I couldn’t have more useless. He had created a giant rock create. We were fighting a man magically transformed into a giant. “How could I help you? You seem to have the situation well in hand.”
“No,” he replied, “my hand is far from well. That is why I need your help. Injured, I can not properly focus on the fight or controlling this much rock. You must do one of those for me.”
“I don’t see how I can. Humans can’t control rocks.”
“No, but I can help you with that.”
“I don’t understand. How can you do that?”
“How can I do it? Very simply. All I have to do is this.”
I felt something crawling up my leg. I tried to jump away, but my feet wouldn’t move. It was like they were stuck. I looked down at me feet and there was rock moving up them, encasing them. “What are you doing!?”
Na Fru looked at me. His face dispassionate as always. Cold. “I’m making you one with the stone.”
I reached for the rock as it slid up my stomach. Being trapped in the dome had been bad. This was much worse. “Hey! Stop it!”
“You want to defeat that monster, don’t you?” he asked, seemingly irritated at my terror. “This is the only way.”
The rock had spread up to my chest and there was no sign that it was going to stop until I was completely covered. Why was he doing this? I didn’t understand. “It can’t be the only way,” I said. “Not this. You don’t have to kill me to defeat the General.” It didn’t make any sense. How could my death help him fight Zlodeyskiy?
“Kill you?” Na Fru laughed.
The rock crawled up my neck toward my face. I couldn’t fight it. I couldn’t even move. It was only a matter of seconds before it would reach my mouth, my nose. I could feel it cover the back of my head. Soon I wouldn’t be able to see. Soon I wouldn’t be able to breath! Soon I would completely trapped, covered in rock. Soon, I would be dead.
to be continued…